I started CrossFit in June 0f 2012. At that time, I was overweight, had little energy and little to no motivation to get back into the gym. I was an athlete who ran a few ½ marathons, a full marathon and completed a sprint triathlon. With the motivation from my husband I joined CrossFit Trumbull. As soon as I met Kevin and explained where I was coming from and where I wanted to be, I was ready to start my journey. He took the time to explain what CrossFit was about. Since June I have been able to lose 30 lbs, make better nutritional choices and I have so much energy to make it through a long day. Thank you to Kevin, the coaches and community at CrossFit TriTown. Without your dedication and motivation I would not be where I am today.
In 2012, I hit a point in my life where I needed to change. I had to stop trying, and start doing. I’d been a member to local gyms for years, and did the classic yo-yo weight loss; I needed something new. Coming to CrossFit was intimidating only because of my preconceived notions (which were wrong).
The moment I walked into CrossFit TriTown I felt like I belonged there; there was no reason for intimidation. I hadn’t even agreed to join, and Kevin was explaining why it was possible for me to work out alongside experienced CrossFitters without getting lost, without feeling the “I can’t,” and with the coaches attention to help me improve every step of the way.
Let’s fast forward to today – four months after starting CrossFit. CrossFit TriTown has empowered me to be that better version of me. There was no magic wand. There was no secret potion. The only things I’ve lost through the experience is a chin and about 30 lbs – two things I won’t miss. I have gained strength, speed, motivation, health, friends, and the ability to make intelligent choices towards a better lifestyle. And for the first time ever, I’m making these changes with the confidence that they are sustainable. Kevin and the coaches gave me this formula with which I am succeeding. The formula includes all of the things I’ve mentioned here – the workout, the people, the nutrition, but most of all, my commitment to do so.
Working out at CrossFit TriTown has been a life altering experience. I have been working out in one way or the other for the past years but never achieved any real results. I was very nervous when I first signed up because I thought only people who are in fantastic shape do CrossFit. When I meet Kevin he put my mind at ease he explained to me that each workout can be modified, and it’s not a one fits all kind of deal. At what other sport does the last person who finishes get the most cheers? People in this box are so supportive, I had people come and finish a workout with me after they already finished theirs!! I have not only changed physically but also mentally. I am so much stronger than I thought possible. The food that I’m eating is fueling my body, it’s fresh and helps me be active and does not weigh me down. I love the way I look and feel and best of all my whole family is eating healthier.
I had wanted to try CrossFit for years… but I couldn’t afford it. My friend told me about CFT opening and she told my fiance about it having a free trial class. I tried it… I loved it… and then I joined the foundations class. I was over 200lbs. I did the foundations… and then I continued to come 3 times a week.
The CFT people did the Whole 30… and I didn’t want to try it at first. I don’t like writing everything down… all the foods I eat… all the water I drink… so I didn’t do it with the group… but then a little over a month before my wedding I decided to try it on my own… not writing anything down…. and was able to lose 15 lbs right before my wedding. I actually had to have my dress taken in days before the wedding! I am feeling the best I have in years.
I am feeling confident, sexy, strong, and I have done this for myself. I have found a grounding way to cook cleanly for myself and my family (even my dog eats paleo now!) I have always been active but my diet has been the lacking factor. I had no idea how much good nutrition influences the body. I am feeling great…. and I am now roughly 170 lbs!
I started CF in August 2014. I was 48 years old and without a doubt in the worst shape of my life, weighing more than I ever had and unable to even climb a flight of stairs without getting winded. Although I always considered my lifestyle to be “active” between caring for my family and having a job that required me to be on my feet all day as a critical care nurse, I saw that the scale continued to creep up as my activity level dropped—a vicious cycle!! It wasn’t easy, but I finally had to take a good long realistic look in the proverbial mirror and I DID NOT like what I saw!!! I was still healthy and wanted to keep it that way. As a nurse, I see so many people take their health for granted, and I did not want to become another statistic!
I was certainly no stranger to dieting, all my life looking for the magical formula that would make me thin. I had done the yo-yo dieting and knew that dieting alone could help with weight loss for the short term, but maintenance had proven unsuccessful for me time and time again. I began to explore various fitness programs and had no idea where to start as I had never been part of any organized sport or even set foot in a gym! At the time, CrossFit TriTown was very close to my house and the sign caught my attention. I knew nothing at all about what CF was and also knew no one who was part of a CF community. I sent Kevin an email telling him I was old and fat and asking him if he thought I could “do” CrossFit. Kevin called me, and was so nice and reassuring that I immediately felt comfortable. I decided to try a class.
That first Saturday morning I could barely run 200 meters and could not even do one–repeat: COULD NOT DO ONE–ab mat sit up! I wanted to run away, (ok, not RUN, but could probably have walked away quickly), but convinced myself to stop making excuses and talked my husband in to joining with me as a little extra moral support.
It was tough. I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed the first few (translation: 3-4) months, and anyone who knows me would call me out on it as well! I would think about the WOD all day, wondering “Can I do it?”, “Will I be the last one to finish?”, “Why am I even doing this?”, and my favorite: “shouldn’t I have lost at least a thousand pounds by now?”. During this time a big part of what kept me motivated to continue was the community of coaches and athletes at CFT. There is such a range of ages, sizes, shapes, abilities and backgrounds at every class. From day 1, every person I met was and continues to be so incredibly and genuinely positive and encouraging. I had heard so much about different gym chains not having an environment of camaraderie, even being a bit competitive or hostile, but this is the exact OPPOSITE of what happens at CFT. As intimidating as it was to walk in to a new environment, especially when you are feeling so down on yourself, every coach and athlete I met introduced themself, spoke with me, encouraged me and congratulated me. I knew this culture of community was something that was unique to the CF experience. The support the members give one another is often just what we all need to get through that WOD, get to that new PR, or just be motivated to get to the box that day.
Those first few months of CF I was definitely improving my performance and seeing some physical results, but my scale wasn’t moving all that quickly. Time for another reality check, and by January 2015 I joined the Whole Life Challenge with the CFT Team. I began to use an app to track what I ate, including calories, carbs, proteins and fats. After so many years of being a health care professional and also a “professional” dieter I thought I knew what healthy eating was, but I was surprised to learn that calories were only part of the equation where nutrition was concerned. Using the knowledge of CF coaches, athletes from CFT whose achievements I admired along with some other resources, I pursued more knowledge about nutrition. I also continued diligently tracking and adjusting my own nutrition based on my physical changes, my gym performance and my scale. I learned I am able to eat a lot more food than I ever thought I could!! I am very proud to share that this combination of exercise and improved nutrition has resulted in a 60 pound weight loss as well as a decrease of about 7-8 clothing sizes!
Flashing forward to 18 months in to my continued journey, I look back to the many ways my life has changed since that first Saturday morning in August 2014. I still think about the WOD all day, but it has gone from being the most dreaded part of my day to the best part of my day! I have gone from barely being able to run 200 meters to running 5K’s, Spartan Races, being part of the CF Challenge and riding my bike 30+ miles at a time. I went from being unable to do even one abmat sit-up to doing 98 as part of last week’s WOD. I have a lot of new friends who are part of my life both in and out of the box. I am no longer ashamed to wear a sleeveless shirt in public. My family sometimes has a hard time locating me in public places because they don’t recognize me (true story!). But perhaps the best way my life has changed is that now when I see someone who is new or struggling, I can be that person who introduces myself and encourages them by sharing my story in the same way others did, and continue to do, for me. I know that if I can do this, anyone can, and that’s pretty exciting!!!
This year I am turning 50 and I am without question in the very best shape of my life, having a blast doing things that I never would have even considered before starting CF. I don’t know exactly what this year will bring, but I am positive that I will continue to enjoy my new found fitness journey. I know that every rep makes me stronger, today I am stronger than I was yesterday and tomorrow I will be stronger than I am today!
On St. Patrick’s Day 2015, one of the biggest drinking days of the year for young people, older people, and most importantly anyone with Irish blood running through their veins, I decided to skip over that and join CrossFit.
My friend Amanda had been doing CrossFit for probably around 2 years at that point and she would talk about it and I always thought it sounded interesting, but wasn’t something I’d want to do.
Before getting into this last year, I want to give a quick backstory to how I got here.
This goes back a long way. My whole life I’d been a combination of overweight to incredibly overweight. Then in May of 2012, my Junior year of college, I decided it was now or never. I was going to lose the weight now and keep it off for good or it was never going to happen. The weigh in at that point was 265 pounds, and sadly it probably wasn’t even my heaviest point.
Over the next 7 months I didn’t even attend a gym, all I did was cut calories by using a food journal and made healthier choices. Just doing that I dropped a lot of weight, and then in January 2013 I got an Edge membership. Unlike most New Year’s Resolutioners, I was on a mission and had reached the point where exercise was necessary (as it always should’ve been). I had always been active until I was 18 playing Softball, Basketball, and Volleyball, but getting back into working out after not working out for so long, in a word, sucked. But I sure as hell did it and by January 2015 I was in the 160’s which I probably haven’t weigh since I was in the 8th grade.
Then I needed a change, I didn’t want to be just skinny(er), but I wanted to get strong, I wanted to be fit. So Amanda told me about bring a friend week at her CrossFit and I said why not, honestly not intending to join, but just to see what it was all about.
After my second day of CrossFit. Sore as hell, but wanting to get up and do it again tomorrow.
Joke was on me.
I LOVED it. So then on St. Patrick’s Day, after bring a friend week, I signed up. And it was the best decision I ever made. I know a lot of people have a lot of very different feelings about CrossFit, but I gotta say, don’t knock it until you try it.
One year and I’m an entirely different person, physically and mentally.
I won’t lie the first few months were hard, really hard. I remember thinking, “God, I thought I was in such better shape than this.” I look back to one of the first few months when we were doing deadlifts and I was literally unable to lift 170 pounds of the floor as hard as I tried, then just yesterday I PR’d my deadlift at 250 pounds.
Now, a day before 16.4 for the CrossFit Open, I remember doing 15.5 (my first week, Jesus), which was 27-21-15-19 for time rowing calories and thrusters at 45 pounds. I did finish, but it took me an incredible amount of time and I think I ended up using 10 pound dumbbells by the 21 round. Now, I’m still scaled, but I’m keeping up and pushing myself.
I think I really hit my stride around October 2015 when I tested into the red programming with my Power Snatch. That was when I said to myself, I can do anything. As long as I try my best and work at it, I really can do anything. Never have I felt that way before when it came to working out. I always thought negatively or would wait until no one was watching to try something new out of fear of messing up the movement and being judged by those around me.
From that point on I was in a whole other state of mind. I had more confidence. I tell myself to push it harder or go heavier, what’s the worst that’s going to happen? I drop the weight and take some off? I try, don’t succeed, then scale it until I can?
Once I had a clear head everything got better. I realized I no longer cared about what the scale said. I know I’m busting my ass working out and trying as best I can to keep a clean diet, but at the end of the day I’m in the best shape of my life, can do more things physically, and have more confidence than ever. So no matter what that stupid number is I can’t be stopped. I worked on running 2 and ½ years on treadmills and tracks trying to get a faster time and knowing it was the one thing I could do at the gym I wouldn’t mess up and then 1 year of CrossFit and it cut 6 minutes off my 5k and 3 minutes off my mile and a half run.
Aside from all the personal reasons for joining, it was the community aspect I enjoyed the most. I’m a pretty introverted person, but when people are cheering you on it lights a fire under you. If I was alone I might stop here or do less weight, but when someone tells you you can, it makes you want to do it. Being a person who has always been a part of team when it came to sports, it was refreshing to work with people who push you and want you to be better.
At first I was a little nervous about the group aspect because I wasn’t sure if I’d be judged for not being able to keep up, but it was the exact opposite. I’m more willing to attempt something with the possibility of failing with these people then I am at succeeding by myself at the Edge. When people are standing next to you and telling you that they know you lift that weight or do the Metcon, all doubt seems to fade and you think, “Yeah, you know what I can!” And that is something you won’t find at any old gym. That is something you find at CrossFit with a community that’s looking to better itself.
I got so much out of my first year doing CrossFit and I recommend it to anyone who wants to work out and be the best they can be with like minded individuals.
One year down. Many more to come.